Before entering the Commons, Butler worked as an officer for the GMB union. She replaced Paul Boateng as MP for Brent South in 2005, becoming the third black female MP. She was promoted to her present job in September 2008.
Butler is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica. She was brought up in London where her parents own a small West Indian and European bakery.
WHERE DOES SHE SIT POLITICALLY?
Butler appears broadly Brownite. She has a keen interest in helping children and young people; on her website she argues 'hard working individuals' should be rewarded; and her voting record shows she has been loyal to the Government.
IS SHE ONE TO WATCH?
Butler is regarded as a breath of fresh air in Westminster and one of the few MPs who can genuinely connect with young people. But others question her gravitas. As a whip, her current influence on policy is minimal.
SOMETHING I MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN
The Hansard transcript of her maiden speech reads: 'I end by thanking again my constituents in Brent South... With the country's largest concentration of West Indians, they told the Lib Dems that dey nah warnt dem.'